Jane debuts on the SundanceNow Doc Club more than 50 years after its initial release

By People Staff
Updated December 01, 2014 09:30 AM
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Silver Screen Collection/Getty; Steve Granitz/WireImage

She was 24, impossibly gorgeous, and nervous about one of her first big roles on Broadway.

And it was a disaster.

In 1962, a pre-fame Jane Fonda appeared in a comedy called The Fun Couple – which took a critical drubbing and closed after three performances.

Famed director D.A. Pennebaker followed the young actress from the start of rehearsals for his documentary Jane, which premieres Monday on the streaming video service SundanceNow Doc Club.

Little-seen since its 1962 release, the documentary shows Fonda striving to escape the shadow of her iconic father, Henry Fonda – and being coached by the play’s director and her then-boyfriend Andréas Voutsinas.

Fonda, now 76, got the last laugh, of course: She went on to become a screen superstar, with seven Oscar nominations and two wins. The documentary has “always been sort of a sore point for her,” Pennebaker told The Onion-affiliated A.V. Club in 2011. “But she’s finally decided she rather likes it.”

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